Sunday, July 29, 2012

Burnet Ridge Pinot Noir, 2007

I believe in drinking local wines whenever possible, but local Pinot Noir from a winery in northeast Cincinnati may be pushing the issue. I took the chance because Wildlflower Cafe in Mason, Ohio is a locovore place, and I trust these people to come up with good wines to match up with their excellent food.

Actually, I found out, the locovore angle is in name only. Burnet Ridge is a small garagist winery in Cincinnati, but the Pinot grapes were brought in from the Forchini Vineyard in California's Russian River Valley. Winemaker Chip Emmerich claims on the label that these were best Pinot grapes he ever had to work with. And I agree that the product is worthy of high marks whatever the appellation. It's not typical though: the wine is dark in color and in aromas and flavors--more like a Syrah than a Pinot, in some ways. Dark cherries, cedar, dark spices, skin tannins--very concentrated. I smell some vanilla from new oak and the dark color probably reflects use of barriques. Otherwise, everything derives from strong fruit with lots of flavor interest. Piques my interest in wines not only from Burnet Ridge but from Forchini Vineyards.

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